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Monday, October 26, 2009

OWCP Requests for Medical Reports

Periodically, OWCP sends letters to claimants requesting a current physician’s report and a completed OWCP-5 form as part of their annual review process. Note that OWCP’s letter may include a list of accepted medical conditions, but it NEVER includes a copy of the Statement of Accepted Facts (SOAF). This is unfortunate because a physician's report is frequently worthless if it does not incorporate the SOAF.

If you receive such a letter, be sure to tell your physician that his/her report needs to include an accurate discussion of the history of your work injury as found in the Statement of Accepted Facts (SOAF); otherwise, OWCP can choose to disregard it.

If you don't have a copy of the SOAF to share with your physician, you should request a copy in writing (not by telephone) from OWCP.

Friday, October 23, 2009

VA Employees May be Owed Back Pay

FEDERALDAILY.COM reports that a recent court decision may award back pay to some VA health care workers (see complete news release below). If you end up receiving back pay as a result of this court decision, you may also be owed an adjustment from OWCP if your pay rate on your OWCP case should have included this pay.

Court Decision Would Award Back Pay to Some VA Health Care Workers
Current and former health care employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) who worked nights and weekends may be eligible for up to $10,000 each in back pay under a recent federal court ruling. The case affects VA health care employees who either currently or formerly worked at VA on Saturdays or at night after 6 p.m. from September 1995 up until the present. The U. S. Court of Federal Claims ruled that VA should have paid these employees the customary weekend premium pay of 25 percent or night premium pay of 10 percent whenever they took paid leave instead of working their weekend or evening shifts. Under the court ruling, all claims must be filed by Feb. 9, 2010. The court is still working out ways to calculate the back pay and interest in each individual claim, according to an Oct. 16 statement posted online by the National Federation of Federal Employees. The case is Quimby v. United States, No. 02-101C. The judge in the case said that current and former VA employees should not call the U.S. Clerk's office because all the necessary explanations are contained on the Web site, according to a statement by the American Federation of Government Employees. Those who may qualify for an award in the case include registered nurses, nurse anesthetists, licensed practical nurses, licensed vocational nurses, pharmacists, licensed physical therapists, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists and employees in over two dozen other specialized health care positions. -Federal Daily

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